As promised here is my full Travel guide to Aruba. We had a wonderful vacation in One Happy island with Aruba Tourism Authority and cant wait to return back once again. If you are considering adding Aruba to your travel list, here are some of our tips and advice from our experience. Dont miss our recap VIDEO at the end of this post!
There are tons of reasons why Aruba makes a super easy destination from the US. There are direct flights to the island, there isn’t any visa required from the US and most importantly it is way safer than the other Caribbean islands given the affect and aftermath of the recent hurricane Irma. Aruba fortunately lies outside of the hurricane belt, and pretty much in South America, just 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. It has year-round cooling trade winds with an average 82-degree temperature.
Which makes me come to another major point why Aruba is such a perfect island choice – its incredible diversity! It is a unique desert island that you are bound to fall in love with – on one side you have the gorgeous tropical beaches and on the other side you have this magical arid desert, which makes you feel you are in another part of the world altogether! It also has mangroves adding another dimension to its versatility. Aside from the diversity – great culinary scene, super friendly people and beautiful weather make this a fantastic choice for a vacay whether you are a first timer or a loyal visitor. No wonder it is fondly nicknamed one happy island. Infact it is one of the most revisited destinations in the Caribbean for all these very reasons.
Where to stay
We stayed at the beautiful Divi All Inclusive. The best part of this resort was the convenient location, as we could easily drive over to Oranjestad or eagle/palm beach.
Suit : Vitamin A from Palapa Lounge Beachwear
If you prefer low rise hotels/resorts I would highly recommend the Eagle Beach area, which was our personal favorite area in all of the island. Check out Bucuti and Tara, we went to this property for dinner on one of the nights and absolutely loved the resort. If you love high rise hotels, the Palm Beach is your go to! Another option is Renaissance Aruba, so you have exclusive access to the Flamingos on Flamingo beach. For more details on all the fab hotel and other stay options check out aruba.com.
What to do
There are tons of things to do on the island, here are some of my top picks :
1 ) Snorkel or stand up paddle boarding in Mangel Halto. Tucked away along the western coast in the Pos Chikito district near the Spanish Lagoon, Mangel Halto is beloved for its beauty and seclusion. Locals retreat to this secret spot to “drift” on the water during a stand-up paddle board excursion or snorkeling adventure, or “drift” off to sleep under the mangrove trees after a relaxing afternoon picnic. Read more in my post HERE.
2 ) Get down and dirty exploring Aruba’s wild Outback. Beyond the turquoise waters and sun-kissed, sandy shores exists the real Aruba – where there are natural bridges, cave and outer worldly desert-like terrain. We opted for getting behind the wheel in a UTV adventure to explore the desert. Read more about our experience cruising along the Andicuri trail with De Palm Tours in my post HERE.
Bikini – c/o Beach Flamingo
4 ) Beach hopping – Aruba offers tons of beautiful beaches. Some of my personal faves were Mangel Halto beach, Divi beach, Eagle beach (the best!) and Palm beach in the South and Andicuri beach and Boca prins on the north. Aruba’s rugged northern shoreline has countless coves, each with their own personality. They are dreamy, secluded and untouched. These beaches are equally if not more stunning than the popular touristy ones in the resort side.
Suit : Frankies Bikinis from Palapa Lounge Beachwear
5 ) Arikok National park – also part of the Aruban outback. The park covers 20 percent of the island, adventurers must trek through the rocky ravines on horseback or ATV, or hike wild, untamed terrain to discover one of Aruba’s most secluded spots, the Natural Pool — known as Conchi .This shell-shaped basin is surrounded by a large barrier of lava rocks that greet crashing waves from the Caribbean Sea. Unfortunately we couldnt visit this on our visit, but will be sure to add it to our itinerary next time around.
6 ) Shopping in Oranjestad or walking around town to discover all the gorgeous Dutch Architecture in and around Aruba.
Where to eat
Aruba has some incredible Island eats and fine dining. In no particular order here are my fave places to eat on the island :
1) the lip smacking finger licking seafood over at Zeerovers ! Don’t forget to have it with the papaya hot delight hot sauce . Finish off with the best vegan coconut ice cream you have ever had. More in my post HERE.
2 ) Dutch pancakes at Lindas Aruba – delicious sweet and savory pancakes. Definitely visit on an empty stomach! The pancakes were bigger than my face haha!
3 ) Authentic Aruban meal at the Old Cunucu House. We loved dining in this beautiful Aruban home under the moonlit sky. Amazing food + hospitality made it all the more special.
4 ) Elements Restaurant in Bucuti and Tara. This is a great option for a romantic dinner out. The restaurant is located right on Eagle Beach! Make sure to get a table facing the ocean so you can enjoy the amazing sunset while noshing on all the delicious food.
5 ) Peruvian food at Asi es mi Peru. We tried this place on our last night and loved the meal, so so good!
And here is our recap video with all the highlights from our wonderful trip.
Hope this travel guide helps you if you are planning a trip out to Aruba or convinces you to add this to your travel list ;). Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for stopping by! xoxo
This post was in collaboration with Aruba Tourism but all thoughts and opinions are my own.